Axios Pro Exclusive Content

ESG disclosures rose well before SEC stepped in

Megan Hernbroth
Aug 1, 2022
Illustration of an upward trending line graph emerging from a magnifying glass
Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Companies were revealing ESG disclosures well before the SEC demanded it.

Why it matters: New findings ding disclosure opponents' who say that the SEC's new rules would place a burden on businesses.

Details: The Association of International Certified Professional Accountants dug through independent audit data from 2020 for 1,400 companies in a study shared with Axios.

  • 51% of the companies indicated they had undergone independent verification of ESG initiatives back in 2019. That rose to 58% in 2020.
  • And that comes before SEC disclosure rules requiring transparency around ESG policies at public companies.

Yes, and: The study found 70% of companies opted to stick with their financial auditor firms when it came to ESG audits.

  • That's good news for the Big Four — ESG represents a new line of business for accounting firms for the first time since Dodd-Frank.
Go deeper